Is Your Thinking Holding You Back in School?
Did you know that your thoughts are so powerful they can make or break your success as a student? Every time you have a thought—and it’s estimated you have up to 60,000 thoughts a day—your brain releases chemicals that impact the way you feel.
Whenever you have a sad thought, a mad thought, or a hopeless thought, such as “I’m going to do terrible on this test,” your brain releases chemicals that make you feel bad. Conversely, every time you have a happy thought, a loving thought, or a hopeful thought, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel good immediately.
Thinking too many negative thoughts can make you feel bad—about yourself, about your ability to do your schoolwork, about your teachers, about everything—and can get in the way of achieving your goals. In some cases, they can contribute to or be a sign of anxiety and depression.
Take Marcus, for example. He came to see me because he was having a lot of trouble with his schoolwork. In his first session with me, he told me:
“I’m an idiot.”
“My teachers hate me.”
“I can never be as good as other kids.”
I call these thoughts ANTs, or automatic negative thoughts, and they can make you feel sad, insecure, and incapable. But you don’t have to believe every stupid thought in your head. You can gain control of your thinking, calm your mind, and focus your attention so you can achieve the success in school you want.
Learn the 7 Types of ANT Species
There are 7 types of ANT species that could be holding you back in school:
These ANTs think in absolutes—things are all good or all bad—and use words like all, always, never, none, nothing, no one, everyone, and every time.
Just the Bad ANTs
This ANT can’t see anything good! It sees only the bad side of any situation.
These ANTs think in words like should, must, ought to, or have to that are actually demotivating.
Attaching negative labels to yourself or someone else strengthens negative pathways in the brain and keeps you stuck in your old ways.
Don’t listen to this lying ANT! Fortune-teller ANTs predict the worst possible outcome with little or no evidence.
Mind Reader ANTs
This ANT thinks it can see inside someone else’s mind. It thinks it knows how others think and feel without even being told.
Blaming others for your problems makes you a victim and prevents you from admitting your mistakes or learning from them.
In my book Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades, you’ll discover how to identify each type of ANT species crawling in your head, and you’ll learn the simple steps to change your thinking to kill those ANTs. You’ll also find several step-by-step examples that show you how to do it, so you can take control of your thinking and start using your mind to help you perform better in school.
Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades is written by psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and brain health expert Dr. Daniel Amen and relies on the latest neuroscience and leading-edge brain imaging to show students of all ages how to strengthen the ultimate study buddy—their brain—to be more successful in school. Order your copy here.
If your head is filled with ANTs and it is keeping you (or your child) from reaching your potential, there is help. At Amen Clinics, we have helped thousands of students learn to kill the ANTs so they can be more successful at school and in life. Speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit online.